Ottawa’s former Union Station begins new life as the Senate of Canada Building

News release

Government of Canada hands over the newly renamed building to the Senate

December 13, 2018 - Ottawa, Ontario - Public Services and Procurement Canada

Today, the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility, officially handed over the newly renamed Senate of Canada Building to the Honourable George J. Furey, Speaker of the Senate.

The event marks the culmination of years of collaboration with the Senate to restore the century-old former train station and modernize it into a state-of-the art, accessible and green building.

Narrowly escaping demolition in the 1960s, Ottawa’s Union Station has undergone several transformations since it was completed in 1912. Its most recent transformation from the Government Conference Centre to the interim home of the Senate of Canada will make it accessible to the public once again.

The restored building will house the Senate Chamber, as well as 3 new committee rooms, and offices for the Senate Administration and Senate Leadership. The restoration created about 1,400 good middle-class jobs for construction workers, skilled tradespeople, engineers, architects and other suppliers.

Quotes

“Canadians can be proud of the utmost care and diligence taken in restoring Ottawa’s former Union Station for generations to come. This building was once a point of entry to Ottawa for tourists, new Canadians and visitors. It is only fitting that it has been revitalized into a safer, greener and more accessible space that will allow the public to see the important work of Canada’s Senate.”

The Honourable Carla Qualtrough
Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility

“It has been truly rewarding to witness the restoration of this magnificent building over the past several years. The Senate’s close collaboration with Public Services and Procurement Canada has culminated in a building of great architectural significance, one which meets the needs of a modern Parliament while staying true to its heritage legacy. Today marks an exciting new chapter for the Upper Chamber and I know all senators look forward with anticipation to serving Canadians in the new Senate of Canada Building.”

The Honourable George J. Furey
Speaker of the Senate

Quick facts

  • The interim Senate Chamber is built in what used to be the train station’s concourse. The design takes full advantage of the room’s high ceilings and prominently features the heritage skylight and plaster ceiling. The new interim Chamber is the same size as the Senate Chamber in the Centre Block but is fully fit-up for television and online broadcasting.

  • The building’s general waiting room is a smaller-scaled replica of the waiting room in Pennsylvania Station in New York City, which was demolished in the 1960s.

  • The interior plaster finishes and marble floors were meticulously restored as part of the project.

  • The building has been fit up with modern information technology and multimedia facilities. It also now has an accessible, barrier-free path on all levels, including the public viewing gallery in the Senate Chamber.

  • PSPC added an addition on the east side of the building, finishing the east façade so it now matches with the building’s Beaux-Arts style architecture. That side of the building had been left unfinished when the building next to it was demolished in the 1960s.The new addition includes elevators to make the building more accessible.

  • More than 90% of construction waste from the project has been diverted from landfills.

  • This represents another completed project of PSPC’s Long Term Vision and Plan, for which the objective was to create interim spaces for parliamentarians to enable the rehabilitation of the Centre Block.

Associated links

Contacts

Ashley Michnowski
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Carla Qualtrough
819-997-5421

Media Relations
Public Services and Procurement Canada
819-420-5501
media@pwgsc-tpsgc.gc.ca

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